The Fence – Part 5 of ??

Too Much Tension

After the fifth insulator snapped I emailed Monica at Bluebird Fencing (if you are brand new to fencing I would really encourage you to find a local, independent, fence company to work with; yes we could have gotten things cheaper elsewhere, but Monica has been so helpful, quick to answer, and always kind, I don’t think we could have done this without her help – totally worth the slightly higher cost). I emailed Monica and explained what we were experiencing, and she hadn’t heard of any other customers having the issues we were having. She did say that the insulators are designed to snap if they are under too much pressure, the idea being if your horse gets caught up in the fence and you had to choose between an insulator snapping or their leg you would always choose the insulator. But because of that the insulators don’t do well if they are bowed even a little bit. The moment I read that I flashed back to an image of using the socket wrench to get those little nuts on as tight as we absolutely could – oops. She also mentioned that you only wanted enough tension on the ElectroBraid to keep it from sagging, but no more than that – big oops. In my defense the video we watched explicitly said to pull on the ratcheting part of the tensioner system until you couldn’t get any more slack out. I am not an unusually strong person, I am probably slightly below average, so clearly it wasn’t my inferior strength that did it. That video lied to me!

With that I went back out and loosed every corner roller insulator (which worked well for most of them, though a few refused to move – so we’ll just have to hope for the best on those) and went back through and loosened all the EectroBraid lines. I ran into issues on two of the lines though because we had cut off the line to use on the next run and there wasn’t enough on the ends to slacken it so there are a few interesting splices; but in the end I got everything loosened up and we haven’t had any issues since then. Yay!  I do have some tips for how to tell if you have over tensioned your ElectroBraid.

How to tell if you have over-tensioned your ElectroBraid fence:

  • You can feel the ElectroBraid vibrate when you touch it.
  • If you are wearing a hat and the hat touches the ElectroBraid you can hear it.
  • The tensioner kit won’t release (as soon as I took some of the tension out of the lines the tensioner kit release tab worked like it was supposed to – no more safety release knots needed).
  • The ElectroBraid that is looped around the end posts cannot be shifted up or down at all.

So here is the fence with the ElectroBraid up; it only took a month.

If you are looking at those pictures and wondering if the distance between the top two lines is a little wider than the others, you would be correct. If you are wondering if that is driving me ever so slightly crazy, you would also be correct. If you are wondering why I wouldn’t fix it– think back to the fence update regarding the corner posts and how we decided that to speed things up we would stop being so picky about the location of the diagonal braces. Well, turns out if you aren’t so picky you wind up taking up a lot of the potential spots for the corner insulators. The directions said to have one of the diagonal braces at the 8th hole and then put the other one either above or below it. We got pretty flexible with that and some were above, some were below, some where way above, and some were way below. But that meant the fence line had to be above the highest one or below the lowest one and the least awful choice was to go below the lowest one. For a brief moment I considering redoing the corner posts that were too low, but it was about half of them and that was not going to happen. Next time we’ll make sure all the braces are at the 7th and 8th holes so that I can have all the lines spaced evenly. Our experiences are definitely cautionary tales, not instructional guides.

Now to just find those gates!

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